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This park is located 41.7 km northwest of Liberia and occupies a land of 387 km2. It is known for its protection of a unique dry forest area in Central America. According to some sources, it is the first national park of Costa Rica to have been founded (in 1972). It is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area. Therefore, within its boundaries, there are many different ecosystems. There are 10 distinctive habitats, including: oak forests, evergreen forests, marshes, deciduous forests, littoral forests, savannas, mangrove swamps. These habitats are home to over 10,000 insect species and 115 animal species, including approximately 250 bird species. You will be able to see among others, white-tailed deer, leatherback turtles, jaguars, collared peccaries, jaguarundis, coatis, coyotes, howler-monkeys, capuchins, and many others. While you are there, you will try to see some of the 100 reptile species.
The park is divided into two well-defined regions, Santa Rosa and Murcielagos. On one side, Santa Rosa consists of a very dry forest. On the other side, Murcielagos consists of a very humid tropical forest and a wild nature. For its part, the flora will allow you to see the Guanacaste, also called Ear Kaffir, a tree that usually measures between 25 and 50 meters in height, and whose trunk diameter can measure up to 2 meters. You will be amazed by this giant considered to be the country’s national tree. The Gumbo Limbo or Bursera Simaruba is also a tree that stands out for its smooth, red and shiny trunk. It grows in secondary forests at low altitude.
The park also contains a campground where visitors can spend a few days. They will find on this ground a grooming area, a picnic area, several restaurants that will allow you to taste the typical gastronomy of Guanacaste. As an activity, you can go for a walk or bike ride. However, we recommend you to not end your visit without seeing the Casona de Hacienda Santa Rosa, an iconic building rich in history. Entrance fees to this park are $10/person and opening hours are from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Do not forget your camera ... you will need it !
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